Deafening White Noise


"Deafening White Noise" expresses the Deaf experience from my perspective as a Deaf individual that is part of the collective, the diverse Deaf community as our cultural identities are connected.

White noise is found within the hearing environment, as it is part of their lives everyday. Examples would be the ocean waves, rainfall, crowd noises, and appliances.

In our deaf environment we do have our own white noise which we are overwhelmed with. Drowning in the ocean waves that may be beautiful for the hearing mainstream can cause us to feel overwhelmed in our own heads. The waves symbolize our own interpretation of being overwhelmed.

We are all are oppressed, suppressing, and experiencing obstacles ( ASL signs within the chest area ) with the white noise related to our: hearing (inner ear works), vocals ( screaming mouth), soul (4 hearts : chambers all stressed out) vision ( eyes with muscles all strained out - stretched ), touch ( hands/arms moving along to make everything go out . The mind blowing experience is at the end with the hands trying to get all the white noise out. The hands showing SIGN is the end result of being able to express the experience.

It is a repetitive cycle that will always be part of the diverse Deaf community and we all do not show much of it on our faces. We feel it through every fiber of our bodies within the hearing environment.

White noise is auditory for hearing people. Deafening White Noise is internal in the diverse Deaf community.


Lori Dunsmore


Deafening White Noise




Mixed media


A collage of images on a black background, creating the shape of a person with their arms and hands outstretched to the side. On the top left, a head with curly hair is visible with eyes showing but the mouth is obscured by a blue wave. The torso consists of brown and tan handshapes. The arms and shoulders are made of black sketches on white shapes of various body parts, leading from ear parts on the shoulder areas to parts of the hand, heart, eyes, mouths, etc where the arms would normally be. At the ends of the arms areas is a group of brown and tan hands in a variety of handshapes. On bottom right is white text: lori dunsmore @moments_by_lori.


Lori Dunsmore, “Deafening White Noise,” RIT/NTID Dyer Arts Center , accessed May 29, 2022,